Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel: One of the best things Martinhal has going for it is that, as far as resorts go, it is very modest in its approach. That's not a bad thing -- it's a very good thing. Too often we see natural beauty covered up by brick and mortar (Cancun comes to mind), and it was great to see Martinhal make use of the rocky coastline of South Portugal and construct up into the cliffside with small, flat-roofed buildings. The hotel, which has 37 rooms to go along with 150 villas, is located in a national park near the village of Sagres. This means that no other development can take place, securing Martinhal's place as the only luxury, full-service property in the area. While the beach, spa and scenery are definitely fit for a romantic getaway, the hotel is fully focused on accommodating families, complete with high chairs and play areas at the restaurants, so feel free to bring the kids and expect that others will as well.
Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon: In the 50s, ten Portuguese entrepreneurs came together to build a hotel of which the city could be proud, one fit to host (and impress) the growing number of international travelers after the Second World War. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why they picked the location they did upon the hill at the northwest part of the city, giving guests a full vantage point of Lisbon and the river (see photos above from the rooftop gym). Expect all the usual luxury you typically find at a Ritz or Four Seasons (FS currently manages the property, but the hotel maintains its Ritz branding from years past), including a sushi lounge, in-house spa, pool, and large, spacious rooms. The gym, located on the top floor with a killer view of the city, is no doubt worthy of inclusion in our list of the best gyms. And you'll want to work out to make room for the breakfast buffet ($40 value, included in this package), which is regarded as the top breakfast in Lisbon.
Now is a great time to go, as visitors to South Portugal and Lisbon will enjoy mild temperatures and reduced prices during the winter months. Rates for the package start at $207/night from November to April for a Superior Double room at the Four Seasons Ritz and a Beach Room with partial sea view at Martinhal.
Disclosure; Will visited Portugal and stayed at these two hotels as a guest of the Portugal Tourism Board. All views and opinions expressed here are his own.
[Photos: Top photo by Will McGough; Galleries by Ryan Dearth/HotelChatter]